tv CNN Republican Presidental Debate CNN December 15, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm PST
the undercard, the first four candidates will be taking the stage in several minutes. as this debate gets under way. >> a lot of energy, this is the last debate of 2015. this is the last moment of seeing these men and this woman together before you go home for christmas and talk about who you like and who you don't. and for some of the people tonight, they may be their last best chance to make or break. and that's why there is so much desperation about making a moment tonight. national security is tricky. there is a lot of fear in this country. tough talk may not be enough for some of the americans. >> and especially in the wake of the san bernardino attack, in paris, as well, the los angeles school system shut down today. so there is a lot of national security issues to talk about. chris christie making the jump from the undercard debate which he was in the last gop debate, he's now back on the main stage with the top tier candidates. a lot to look forward to
tonight. i want to check in with john bettrman who is back stage. >> and i just saw wolf blitzer walk by, the moderator. they have now walked through the door right there and they're now on the debate stage itself. over there is the door where the candidates are will be emerging any minute now. this undercard debate will get started, we've seen the campaign staffs scurrying about.minute n. this undercard debate will get started, we've seen the campaign staffs scurrying about. fire electr five lecterns will be aided after the first debate. begins at 8:30. all ready to go right there. this the last debate of 2015, there are some changes. some new features in the debate tonight that could have a big impact in what we will see. number one, ted cruz, by function of where he stands in the polls, he will be center stage right next to donald trump. that is a position occupied once
by jeb bush, once by scott walker. will he face the peril, will he face the wrath of donald trump just inches away from him? chris christie, as you mentioned, he's pack on tback on stage after a ter a briof after in the undercard debate. could it be he needs to try to figure out how to get more support in the establishment lane. finally the format. 75 seconds to answer questions from wolf blitzer and the panel. you get 30 seconds if someone names your name, calls you out. 30 seconds to respond to that. one other thing, there will be opening statements and closing statements. i always think the opening statements are very interesting. you get a sense of where these candidates are go, a chance to set the tone, which will be a long and exciting night. >> john, thank you very much. wolf blitzer said to be maintaining one hour of complete silence before he takes the
stage. you were doing very heavy c calistheni calisthenics. you slapped me hard across the face when i wished you well. so everybody does it different. donald trump certainly the man in the middle. the polls just by banning musli and yet the debate is not always a position of strength for him. what are you hearing about tonight? >> i think that's right. when he was at his campaign event last night, trump said i expect everyone to be going after me. but we do know he's looking forward to tonight because he tweeted about it as donald trump is prone to do. he said i am at trump international hotel getting ready and waiting for the debate tonight. look forward. hope i get treated fairly. donald trump doing a little bit of debate prep, he had a meeting with the billionaire republican donor here in las vegas. so it will be interesting to see if he makes any mention of that. but i think for trump, the pick
challenge here and when i talked to voters, look, we want to see him talk more about his policies, we want to see him come off as strong on national security. and if you are a voter still undecided, you don't want to see donald trump and ted cruz go after one another. a lot of folks i talked to said they think that would be the worst possible outcome. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> obviously big debuts in los angeles, nation's second largest school system shut down by an e-mail terror threat. let's go to evan perez who has the latest on that. >> reporter: no doubt it has the nation on edge. and we know that the e-mail threat was received by school officials both in new york and los angeles. we took a lot at one of the messages and it included mentions of pressure cooker bombs and backpack bombs. and a group of islamic terrorists who are ready to
carry out an attack against schoolchildren. but it also had some oddities. it included a vulgar mention to male anatomy. so that's perhaps one reason why new york city officials looked at it and decided that they were going on dismiss it. here is the new york city police commissioner bill bratton talking about the terrorist attack. i'm sorry, we don't have the sound right now, but at the same time, los angeles officials got the same message and what they decided was that they were going to take out of an abundance of caution, they would close the schools. that means that 650,000 kids and thousands of employees would have to stay home today. the fbi is still investigating this message and these threats. because even though it appears to be a hoax, they treat all of these seriously and it does really show that for the first time probably since 9/11 the fear of terrorism among the american public is very, very
high. >> no doubt about that. evan, thanks very much. we'll continue to check in with you. the stage is set here at the venetian, the gcandidates have down their walk-throughs. we're minutes away from the start of this debate. wolf blitzer is on the stage going over last minute questions. hugh hewitt will be asking questions as will dana bash. we're joined by chris cuomo, jeff zeleny is here with us, a former bill clinton adviser, and also the former chairman of the house intelligence committee. paul, you have a grin on your face. what will you be looking for. >> >> i'i'll be looking for hum except for lindsey graham. he's been charming, but it hasn't done him very good in the polls. so hugh momor.
and they all want to as mr. trump said bomb the poop out of isis, but how, why, where. who will be sub stand tastantiu. i would ask mr. trump there are five countries that border syria. name them. you're going to bomb it, you should know where to send the planes. >> as you know, you do that and then you get attacked for a gotcha question. >> i'd know the answer. >> all five? >> sure. let me think. turkey, iraq, lebanon, jordan and a tiny slice of israel. >> wrong. >> no, that's right. i'd have my client do it then. one of his opponents. ted cruz probably has greater mastery of the substance. marco rubio, chris christie. even though they're trailing mr. trump. why not christie who is trying to get in the game, let him turn to him and say i can name the states, but himself he i can name the states that border syria. >> if it was one of the other
candidates, it wouldn't be the liberal media.>> if it was one candidates, it wouldn't be the liberal media. >> yeah, if i was advising one of these other politicians, side have them do it because trump's strength is not substance. >> so let's take that as right. but then the reality of how a debate works, mike rogers sno s that very well, we're lucky to have him here, on the show "new day" this morning. and i say this is going to be all about particulars. you say no, not in the debate it isn't. it's about projecting the tone that matches the mood of the country. so even if you can't it tell the ring around syria, that may not be what wins the night in your opinion. >> exactly. and i think those kind of gotcha questions don't work. you're under pressure, you have 75 seconds. even paul who knew he was going to be asked the question had to stop for a minute. >> for a long time. >> i saw him looking at his --
>> i'm not a huge sivy leaguer like trump. >> i saw carville holding up a sign. >> you have to have style and substance. you have to show poise, that you have the leadership that you can rally under tough circumstances. and the substance part comes not from knowing the five countries that surround syria, but can you frame the problem. can you frame the danger in a way that people understand it. that you can do in 75 seconds. if you're going to lay out a plan for isis in 75 second, we're all in trouble. everything has to be this 140 characters in a tweet. if our national security comes down to 140 characters in a tweet, we're in serious trouble. i don't think that's what they need do. they just need to show sw they be commander in chief. >> and wi there is not a huge difference in many of their positions. so it's a tough position to be in where they're trying to kind of point out their differences
and yet as you say, in 75 seconds, not an easy thing to do. >> and i also think if they can wrap in this notion that, listen, we have a lot of really smart people in the pentagon, intelligence services, first thing is make sure i understand all of the threat. the things we've been doing right and the things we've been doing wrong. you start laying out a case like that, americans start feeling like, all right, first of all, you won't go in and just bomb the heck out of the place. probably not the right answer. you won't invade willy-nilly. but you are going to use all the intellect that you have that our experts -- >> but that is the answer that donald trump has given and it's worked very well for him. >> no question about it. but after covering all of these candidates, they all criticize the obama administration. that's what i'm watching most for. we know wolf will push hethem f their own plans. you go to a donald trump rally and you talk to people who love him, they are looking for particulars. so i think this is a different moment. look what has happened in the
last month. the paris attacks, san bernardino. so i think this will be a substantive debate and all these candidates will say what they would do, not what the president is doing wrong. >> just so people know what they're hearing behind us, everybody is being told to take their seats. you can keep talking, but we're getting closer to the big moment of the first debate. >> back to what jeffrey said. that's right, as a strategist, i used to call it home base. here is your safe laplace. if you don't know what to say, say this. number one, attack hillary, attack president obama, attack the media. >> not tonight. >> go to your safe place, attack the president, hillary, the wolf. >> they won't attack wolf. >> come on, watch. >> i don't think so. >> they will be attacking ted cruz because he is the person how who has the arrows coming from him on each side and he is so happy about this. i talked to him this afternoon and i said, you know, a lot of people are going after you. and he said this is great, this
is the place he wants to be. so i think marco rubio and chris christie will be going after him. donald trump will engage him no question. >> cruz has no fear when it comes to his positions and making his own case. and that's a big asset on a debate stage. but i do think it will be very interesting tonight when someone is saying i'm strong, i'm strong, the president is weak and wolf looks at them and says how. i think it will be a big moment tonight to see who says what at that point. >> we'll take a quick break. a lot most of as the debate approaches.
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welcome back. we're wait being the start of the cnn republican presidential debate here in las vegas. wolf blitzer moderating. who contests tonight, first set to begin in just a few minutes. wolf there you see on the stage. hugh hiewitt and dana bash ther, as well. gloria borger and john king with us and of course chris cuomo, as well. i want to take a look at something donald trump tweeted earlier today. he said i'm at the trump international hotel getting ready waiting for the debate. look forward. hope i get treated fairly. he's also been going after fox news all day. >> he's very delicate.
i mean i've never heard a candidate talk about being treated with respect. >> i think he's setting up a dynamic where it's him against the establishment. and if he see as coalescenye, he will take the side of the anti-establishment. he's trying to hold that ground. >> but i don't know what being treated fairly means. i mean, he's -- >> that means when he gets to be the nominee. >> he's threatened to leave the party and run as an independent if not treated fairly. does that mean he shouldn't be challenged on the debate stage by the contenders or cnn? >> we not answer to the question. the answer is he's setting up his expectations for tonight. he has not shown as brightly on the debate stage. and so he's setting it up. >> plus he knows who his voters
are. and whatever you think of him poli policy-wise, he's a master of branding. voters think they're getting screwed by the economy, by the politicians. and trump is feeding them. he knows exactly what he's doing. >> so it's his own version of lowering expectations? >> no, i think that's what happens for the debate stage where he may take some fire tonight. but john is right, we've seen it from the beginning. he is saying anything, you know one thing for sure, there is a purpose behind it. he's not just flailing. that's what we learned the hard way. >> what is the purpose of going after fox news again though today? >> that has less of a calculus. >> i do think that they in certain ways are part of the republican establishment. he is running outside of the traditional republican lanes. sdl but anderson is also right, that's who he is. he does not back down from a
fight. that's part of his sell. but you're right as well, this is not his event. he does not hang the prolonged substantive discussions on issues very well. >> chris brought this up earlier how nobody is talking about jeb bush. he's just not in the discussion. and when he has been in the discussion, it's always the same. it's always, gee, do you think he can do any better this time. >> i think -- i don't think it's make or break anymore for jeb bush. and that's why we're not talking about him. we're talking about the candidates who are on the rise, not the candidates who are falling. and i think jeb bush isn't doing well in new hampshire at this point, which would have been the state that he would have to win or excel in. and you're looking at candidates like rubio and cruz and chris christie in that same moderate lane to kind of rise. >> but i do think that's an important subplot of this debate and through the end of the year
until iowa votes, which is the survival of the centrist. there has alleways been the tlhy that you'll have cruz, who will be the mainstream moderate that emerges. jeb bush was the $100 million man at the beginning. most people think he's on life support. >> this is all about new hampshire. iowa is social conservatives. new hampshire is where the center right republicans have to break through. and so this debate has to be seen through the eyes of those new hampshire voters. and that's why for christie, that's why this is a big debate. >> he got a big endorsement. >> true. >> and he spent a lot of time there. he's basically moved to new hampshire. but i think the way john sets it up is right except for what we saw with bush. in the way that we imagined this, he was supposed to be
prominent because of the pedigree, because of what he represents and the money. other than that, it really is where it's supposed to be. >> christie is tapping the passion and anger. rubio has been the centrist on the debate stage. >> the lane is so crowded. normally it's the conservative lane. you have kasich, you have rubio saying he's a moderate. you have bush, you have christie. >> also donald trump kind of stole chris christie's tell it like it is. >> and donald trump is getting a fair share of moderate self-described moderate voters. i think this is about temperament. jeb bush simply don't have the right ten pmperament for this y. >> just so you know, behind us they are getting ready. they're telling the audience who
all the people are involved tonight. facebook has baeening a gr ing questions. people practicing their applause. >> and they have been thanking the various people, secret service, all the people who helped make the debate possible. we'll take a quick
break. we're just minutes away from the start of the cnn republican had debate.
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there is a lot of excitement in the room here now at the venetian hotel in las vegas. just minutes away from the start of the first republican debate here on cnn. this is going to be a big night. we have wolf blitzer coming out and telling the crowd that his job is simple, to allow the voters to see the differences among the candidates tonight. we have our esteemed panel here ledded by anderson cooper, we have david axelrod, glornlg i can't gloria borger and john king. there is so much tear in the country. tone must match the mood. but what can you say as a republican tonight that will be that different in terms of fighting against isis and terror than what happens right now. >> which is the challenge that hillary clinton threw down when she was commenting on this debate, the challenge was what do they have to say beyond the muscularity we talked about earlier that is new, that is
different, that is a better plan. you mentioned experience. jeb bush and some of the other candidates were betting that paris would open the door to the experienced candidate. that didn't turn out to be true. it opened the door to the mess belicos candidate. so tonight we'll see if that is backed up by substance. >> i'd argue maybe it opened the door for chris christie who has had experience with national security. >> which he may mention in this debate. >> i guarantee you he will. >> i think this could be his night. >> lindsey graham will be in the undercard debate who has talked about you need boots on the ground. he has been out there. other candidates don't want to go there. and whether you agree or disagree, we should applaud candidates who are specific. and trump has said ban muslims and bomb the bleep out of them. they say president obama hasn't been a good leader. what you say what would you do, it doesn't look all that
different from the administration. i think the challenge is you have to do better than that. >> and there will be four candidates on this undercard debate. how many more underdard card de do you expect to see moving forward? >> i don't expect to see any. i think this could be it. i think if you're in the single digits at this point -- there that's a decision that is ultimately made by the rnc. >> and by polling. and as you get closer to iowa and new hampshire, maybe you will be looking at the polling of those states as opposed to national polling and that can narrow it down some more. so maybe they will start using different -- >> we have one more before iowa votes, right, the fox business debate. i certainly think that's a good question for the fox business debate. i think after iowa votes, i don't think you will see them. >> you won't see them because they won't be here. i think a number will leave after the iowa caucuses.
several after new hampshire. once again the crowd loves the point by david axelrod, they're getting ready obviously to do the debate here. very interesting. donald trump will defend his ban on muslims, he will can interest allege rated. i wonder if he points to the fact that he with just had news of 34 muslim countries joining in what they're now making a pro and ad hoc coalition. you see what my talk did, it brought the muslims -- >> all right. the first round of the cnn facebook republican presidential debate starts right now. we're live in las vegas for the final republican presidential debate of 2015. >> right now the road to the white house leads straight
through las vegas. and it's taking a critical turn. ted cruz front and center. >> we are at war with terrorists and we will win. if you join isis, you're signing your death warrant. >> i'm going to bomb the [ bleep ] out of them. >> tonight the republican candidates in back to back debates in a campaign jolted by the attacks in san bernardino and paris. >> isis has raised its ugly head again. >> donald trump still on top going to new lengths to show he would be tough on terror. >> total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. we have no choice. >> ted cruz and marco rubio on the rise vying to be the gop's choice if the frontrunner falls. >> we're seeing the evil of islamic terrorism here at home. >> they are not being contained. >> ben carson trying to bounce back warning america can't fight a politically correct war against isis. >> you strangle them.
anything that looks like a military vehicle, it's gone. >> jeb bush and chris christie, zeroing in on national security. arguing that experience matters in dangerous times. >> we are in the midst of the next world war. >> it's not about big personality, it's about leadership. >> the rest of the field looking for a breakout moment, using obama's policies against hillary clinton. >> mrs. clinton is as accountable as president obama. >> and we watch the democrats, they have so many crazy ideas. >> we have a cub scout for a xhapdn ner commander in chief. >> now the stage is set for the final republican debate. >> radical islam is on the rise. >> people are saying if we just had more surveillance. hog wash. >> the first real votes are just weeks away. >> people are starting to pay attention. they're getting closer to making a decision fp. >> we can't afford to be so nice. >> and america's security is at stake.
♪ we're in las vegas for the cnn facebook republican presidential debate. there is a lot of anticipation here in theater for the final republican presidential debate of 2015. focusing in on the most important job of any president, keeping america safe. we want to welcome our viewers watching on cnn networks here in the united states and around the world. and listening in on the salem radio network. i'm wolf blitzer. joining me in the questioning, hugh hewitt and dana bash. we also ask republicans and independents nationwide to share their questions for the candidates. we seemed teamed up with
facebook and thousands of people stepped inside and recorded their questions on video. and millions more have weighed this on facebook.inside and rec questions on video. and millions more have weighed this on facebook. tonight we'll hear from 13 republican candidates. once again we've divided the large field into two groups based on their rankings in recent polls. the top nine contenders will take the stage later this evening. the other four are ready to join us right now. ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome senator lindsey graham of south carolina. the former u.s. senator from pennsylvania, rick santorum. former arkansas governor mike huckabee.
and former new york governor george pataki. ladies and gentlemen, welcome these republican candidates for president of the united states. there are news photographers here to take a group picture of these candidates together on the stage. that's what they're doing right now. now, ladies and gentlemen, will you please rise for god bless america performed by ayla brown.
>> thank you very much. i'd like to ask the candidates to take your places while i tell you more about how tonight's debate will work. i'll guide the discussion asking questions and followups. candidates, i'll try to make sure each of you gets your fair share of questions. you'll have 1:15 to answer and 30 seconds for followups and rebuttals. i'll give you time to respond if you're singled out for criticism. we have timing lights that are visible to the candidates, those lights will warn you when your time is up. and as the candidates requested, a bell will sound like this. [ bell ] >> we know you're eager to
debate these important issue, but please wait until you're called on. now that everyone is this place, it's time for the candidates to introduce themselves to our audience. you'll each have one minute. senator graham, you're first. >> thank you very much. i just returned there iraq two weeks ago. and it was my 36th trip to iraq and afghanistan in the last decade. toward the hend, i met a very impressive special forces sergeant. it was his job to rain iraqi kurdi kurdish commandos. he was so proud of what he was doing and so proud of the people he was training. he was the replacement for master sergeant wheeler, a delta force member who was killed two months ago in a raid against isil prison to free prisoners. as i departed, i told this young
man stay safe. he replied, sir, i will do my best to stay safe, but i came here to win. as commander in chief, i will do everything in my power to make sure that he can win. as president, we will win. [ applause ] >> governor pataki. >> thank you, wolf. i want to speak to you this this evening not as a republican or a presidential candidate, but as an american. as we saw today in l.a., we are at a crisis in our country. radical islam poses a threat to our safety not just overseas, but literally in every community in america. and yet at a time when we should be united, we have a president who has divided us. who refuses to call radical islam what it is, let alone have a compakocompany coherent strat
defeat it. hillary clinton won't call isis by its name and has continually lied to the american people. on the other hand, donald trump continually demonizes and today means millions of americans and laugh it is off. neither is fit to be president of the united states. our party as republicans need to nominate a strong leader who will unite us as republicans, but more importantly, unite us as americans, committed to destroying and defeating radical islam, restoring our confidence in our safety right here, and our belief in freedom and that the best of america is ahead of us. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> nor santorum. >> thank you, wolf. great to be here in las vegas. and i just want to thank everybody forsantorum. >> thank you, wolf. great to be here in las vegas. and i just want to thank everybody for the opportunity to be here. this is an important time in our
country's history. we have entered world war 3. world war 3 has gun abegun and have a leader would refuses to identify it and be truthful to the american people to the stakes that are involved. in part because his policies have led us here. his policy toward iran lit the fuse of a nuclear iran. just a few weeks ago, the international atomic energy agency reported that iran has had a nuclear program, but they don't know if it's continuing because they refuse to share any information about the current status. and this president marches on giving the them the hundreds of billions of dollars to allow them to not just rekoconstitute their program, but also to foment terror around the world. and his policies created isis. ladies and gentlemen, we need a president who will be honest with you and identify these
problems and defeat them. i hope you will give me the chance to do that. thank you. [ applause ] >> governor huckabee. >> wolf, i want to say thanks to you and cnn for giving us the opportunity. especially to focus on national security issues at a time when americans are not only angry at their government that they feel like it's failed them, been indifferent to them, cost them their livelihoods, but in addition to angry, they're just explain scared. they're scared when they think that they go to a christmas party and get shot at. they're scared when they realize that our government who promises that it can vet people and is begging us to approve bringing 10,000 syrian refugees in to this country can't even catch somebody after a third background check who had posted things on social media clearly indicating she wanted to kill
americans. and we couldn't catch that. we've lost confidence in our government. and when americans lose confidence in their government, we're in a dangerous place. we're this danger because we have an enemy that is out to kill us and we have a government that we don't trust anymore. this election is about going back to having a government we can trust with leaders who have the courage and conviction to actually lead and not follow. [ applause ] >> let's begin. the united states just suffered the worst terrorist attack since 9/11, the murder of 14 people by two terrorists, one of whom was an american citizen. in response, donald trump proposed a temporary ban on all muslims coming into the united states until the government can figure out what is going on. senator graham, the polls show most republicans do support mr. trump. what do you say to them?
>> you may think this makes us safe, but it doesn't. the good news for everybody this in this room is after 36 trips to iraq and afghanistan, most people over there, wolf, are not buying what isil is selling. this is a religious war between radical islam and the rest of the world. and there is only one way you will win this war. help people in islam who reject radical islam to fight over there and destroy this ideology. donald trump has done the one single thing you cannot do. declare war on islam itself. isil would be dancing in the streets, they just don't believe in dancing. this is a coup for them and to all of our muslim friends throughout the world like the king of jordan and the president of egypt, i am sorry he does not represent us. if i am president, we will work together, people in the faith through all over the world
destroy this radical ideology declaring war on the religion only helps isil. >> senator graham, you said you'd rather lose the election without strutrump than try to w with him. does that mean you will be voting for the democratic nominee if donald trump wins the presidential nomination? >> i'm going to support the republican nominee whomever he or she would be. like bob dole, i may sleep late that day if it's trump. but if it's trump, so be it. please understand we're in a war that we can't afford to lose. and what he said about banning muslims coming here to america has made us all less safe. and it's the worst possible thing he could do in this war. he clearly doesn't understand this war and how to win it. pe pick somebody be who knows how to win and i don't believe that
is mr. trump and i know it's not ha hillary clinton. >> governor pataki, you've also suggested mr. trump's plan is up american and absurd. why? >> it's one of many absurd things will this president has said. to target a religion and say that regardless of whether you're an american soldier who has fought on our side oral lies we have overseas simply because of your religion we'll ban you is unamerican, it is unconstitutional and it is wrong. and by the way, wolf, there was a group that tried to do that. 150, 160 years ago, they were calmed the no nothing party. they wanted to ban catholics. they thought they were going to destroy america. donald trump is the no nothing candidate of the 21th century. by the way, i fought hillary and obama as well because by not distinguishing between muslims and rad dicalized jihadists, by refusing to acknowledge that
it's radical islamists who are carrying out these attacks, they let americans cop fus s who are and angry lump everyone together. we have to destroy those who embrace jihad and want on engage in violence against us here or abroad. >> senator santorum, you object to mr. trump's proposals on the grounds that it's unworkable. you've marie lidde religious li hallmark of your career. do you believe in religious liberty for muslims as well as christian? >> of course i do. but what donald trump was saying was nothing against muslims. what his comments was against this administration who doesn't have a policy to properly vet people coming into this country. let's just be honest about what is being talked about here. i know people will pile on because it makes sense to pile on, maybe from the polls. but he brings up a legitimate issue. the fact of the hear the matter
not all. >> mike: hmuz muslims are jihadists, but all jihadists are muslims. that's a reality. and we have to stop worrying about offending some people and start defending all americans. because we're not right now. >> senator graham. >> rick, please understand the only way we'll win the war against radical islam is for the world to unite. very few fathers and mothers want to turn hair daughttheir dd sons over to isil. muz will limbs have died by the thousands fighting this hateful ideology. you can say what you like, but when you utter the word i will ban all muslims from coming to america, how do you think the king of jordan must feel to hear that? he's our friend, our ally. this is not the way to make america safe. this is the way to help our
enemies. stop this before it's too late. >> senator santorum. >> i would agree that donald trump's proposal was not the right proposal. but he brings up a very important issue that i think we've been ignoring for far too long. the really is that, yes, we need to get reformist muslims to join us. we need to get those who are being persecuted and killed within the middle east to join us. but we also have to protect this country from those who want to harm us and we have to defeat those who are radicalized in the middle east and wherever we find them around the world. >> governor huckabee, you called mr. trump's plan to ban muslims impossible and unconstitutional. but what is your specific plan to prevent would-be jihadists from carrying out attacks against americans? >> let me begin by saying i'm not that afraid of donald trump in the sense that i'd rather him be president than hillary be president any day. and so if he becomes president,
i think he will do a whole lot more to protect us than hillary will. and a whole lot more than barack obama has done in his eight years. so i want to make it clear that i was simply speaking that i'm not sure that you you did have a religious test per se. and if somebody comes to our borders and says i'd like to come in, are you a muslim? they're going to come in here to kill us, they won't say yeah, they will lie about you. anybody that will kill you you will lie to you. so that's i didn't say it's impractical. but what he has done and i don't think a lot of people understand, he has touched a nerve because people are angry and afraid that we are facing an enemy that this administration refuses to acknowledge, refuses to want to go fight. and our only answer is to go after isis and to go after every form of radical islam where they are, take them down, so they her get here and do what they did in san bernardino again ever. >> the terror attacks in paris and san bernardino have sparked
a debate here in the united states about the balance between privacy and security. i want to bring in dana bash and hugh hewitt for more on this. >> senator santorum, you want to give the intelligence community more more power to collect america's phone data. the government had this ability until days before the san bernardino attacks. if it couldn't protect san bernardino, why would it protect america? >> that doesn't mean we shouldn't have all tools available that doesn't impinge on people's privacy. this is not collecting people's phone calls, voices, information that is personal, no names attached to these numbers. they are numbers, times and relationships through algorithms that computer technology can sort through relationships about what numbers are calling what numbers and track those down to see if there is any linkage between somebody who is potentially a terrorist. that is fundamental we have to
have this type of data to not impinge upon people's privacy. the more data we can collect that's anonymous, the less we need to involve people and imposing themselves in people's privacy. >> senator graham, when this program was exposed, you said you have nothing to worry about if you are not talking to terrorists. do you understand why some americans are concerned the government is keeping tabs on them any way? >> here is what i'm here to tell you. when i first started this process running for president, i said if you don't realize we need more american boots on the ground in iraq and eventually syria not ready to be commander in chief. like nobody said a word. now everybody's onboard except senator paul. senator paul and senator cruz are are isolationists. they both want to restrict the ability of the nsa to do the following. find out if somebody overseas is calling into america.
if somebody is on the other end of the phone, don't you want to know who they're talking to? if a terrorist is call into america and we can match up phone numbers, we get a court order to find out what the content is. we are at war, folks. they're not trying to steal your car. they're trying to kill us all. so yes, i would reason institute this program. there are four things you need to understand about this war. it's a religious war, them against the world. if you don't fight them over there, they're coming here. if you don't hit them first, they're going to hit us. if you're not determined to fight it as a war, you are going to lose it. if you're worried about somebody having your phone number in the government, don't be. only thing if you're talking to a terrorist and a judge gives an order to listen to what you're saying. >> thank you. governor huckabee, you said not one terrorist plot has been foiled by the nsa's collection of americans' phone records.
director of the cia says not having its programs make the ability to find terrorists much more challenging. are you taking away a potential tool to fight terrorists? >> no. i'm not taking it away. i want to make sure everything we use is going to be effective. we are spending billions of dollars. let's use every tool. let's also check out the facebook posts, look at twitter accounts. my gosh, we were told we couldn't do it because it might invade somebody's privacy. this lady who came over here and shot up san bernardino was posting things on facebook. we were restricted from looking. every college kid who goes to a frat party is going to have a potential employer looking at that photo before he gets hired. why should we have more attention, for heaven's sake, towards one college student who wants to get a job than we're going to have for somebody who wants to come in with a semi automatic weapon or pipe bomb and blow up a bunch of americans. this is what americans are
frustrated with. it's the duplicity of our policy. our goal should be to put americans first, not last, which i think this administration has done. >> senator santorum? >> i agree with governor huckabee. we should be looking at people's social media post. that's common sense. we defunded and tied the hands behind the back a because of political correctness. we are not allowed to ask any questions or pursue any mosques they are attending. we know there are imams doing that. >> let's pursue that, governor
pataki. you called for following those imams. how extensive a surveillance program are you proposing? >> i think it's very important we do everything in our power to prevent radicalization of americans right here. it is happening not just overseas, but happening here from mosques on social media, and through interaction and community meetings. the new york police department had an active group aggressively monitoring and using intelligence in certain muslim communities consistent with our constitution, consistent with our civil rights so they could have the intelligence as to where these sermons are being begin and who is being radicalized. they stopped and prevented dozens and dozens of attacks in new york. i'm a great believer in the first amendment of freedom of speech. i wish we had more on our college campuses. you can't shout "fire" in a crowded theater. calling on americans to engage
in violence against their fellow americans in the name of jihad is crying "fire" in a crowded theater. it is not constitutionally protected speech. it should be shut down. by the way, the two murderers who went to garland, texas, to massacre many americans before the texas police officer courageously killed them had been radicalized here. one of those terrorists the day before the attacks had sent 109 messages to a known terrorist overseas. we could not read those messages. we have to do far better. >> we have a history of religious intoleration in this country about the american muslims who would be subject to this surveillance. does it violate their first amendment rights? >> it does not violate to have someone go and listen to the sermons. you can go to any church in america. it's a public place and listen.
if you go to my church you'll probably get a real blessing and heck, it will be a wonderful experience. i don't know what happens in every church. these are public places. folks are invited to come. if it's a public place and people are invited to come, how does it violate anybody's first amendment rights somebody shows up because they might want to listen in and see is there something that is nefarious? if there is, you take the second step getting a search warrant. do what you have to do. that's all protected under the constitution. hugh, i hear people act like there is something terrible about listening to the sermons of a mosque. if islam is as wonderful and peaceful as they say, shouldn't they be begging us to come in and listen to these peaceful sermons and begging us all to come and listen and bring the fbi so we want to convert to islam? >> senator santorum, i want to stick on the second amendment. is there a terror watch list. you can legally purchase a gun
in the united states if you are on that watch list. peter king in the house wants to change that law. do you agree with it? >> i don't. i don't think we should be able to deny someone's constitutional rights based on a list kept by the government nobody knows how you get on it or off it. if you are going to make that list public and put criteria how you're going to get on it, i think you have to be more transparency. let's be honest. when someone applies for a gun, do you a background check. if you are on the terrorist watch list, guess what may happen? you may get denied that. that is a discretion of the people, the atf making that kind of decision. i want to leave that discretion. long as this list is not well known, as long as it's not transparent, we have to leave that discretion. i want to comment about what mike and george said about islam. the fact of the matter is, islam is different. i know this is going to come as a shock to a lot of people.
i mean that sincerely. islam is not just a religion. it is a political governing structure. the fact of the matter is, islam is a religion, but it is also sharia law, a civil government, a form of government. so the idea that that is protected under the first amendment is wrong. in fact, that political structure is what is the big problem. the imposition of sharia law and adherence to fundamental islam as practiced in the 7th century. >> your response? >> i don't disagree with anything the senator just said. that it right. when people say we can't go into the mosque and can't listen, that is utter nonsense. of course we can. if there is something so secretive going on in there, somebody isn't allowed to hear it, maybe we do need for sure to send somebody in there and gather the intelligence. that's all in the world i'm saying.
it stands to be true. >> senator graham, you're trying to get in? >> yeah. there are at least 3,500 american muslims serving in the armed forces. thank you for your service. you are not the enemy. your religion is not the enemy. let me make this real to you. i was in the second presidential election in afghanistan. good night guarding me was an american muslim sergeant in the army who grew up in kabul, left when he graduated high school. joined the u.s. army. went back to his high school where they were doing polling. people voting. took me there and cried like a baby. i cried like a baby. he is the solution to this problem, folks. he is not the problem. leave the faith alone. go after the radicals that kill us all.
>> governor pataki. there are a lot of people frustrated, especially senator graham that law enforcement can't tap into information on terrorist cell phones. senator graham has called on companies in silicon valley to change their business models. as president of the united states, would you force these companies to change their models so the government can better monitor the traffic on these cell phones? >> i would pass a law requiring them to do that. let me give you one example. i mentioned in garland, texas, where that murderer, that terrorist, the day before sent 109 messages overseas to a known terrorist. they were encrypted. to this date we don't know what that said. companies are entitled to encrypt and protect their knowledge and their intelligence. what we need is a back door for law enforcement to be able when they can establish that communication poses a risk to our safety and engages in terrorism, to get a court order and go in and access those
communications. allow the companies to continue encryption, provide an entry way for law enforcement when they can prove to a court that there is a sufficient risk of an attack upon us that they have the right to look at those messages. >> senator graham? >> one more thing, wolf. when that murderer came from pakistan to san bernardino and committed those atrocious crimes a few weeks ago, she applied for a visa. she had posted on social media jihadist messages because this administration is so politically correct, they have a rule they cannot look at social media postings of people applying to come to the united states. that is utterly absurd. one of the things we must do, the next president must do is get rid of that law and make sure we do everything in our power to find out if someone poses a threat to our existence here.
>> this is why i own a flip phone. bottom line is, we're at war. they're trying to come here to kill us all and it's up to the government to protect you with the constitutional means. any system that would allow a terrorist to communicate with somebody in our country and we can't find out what they're saying is stupid. if i'm president of the united states and you join isil, you are going to get killed or captured. the last thing you are going to hear if i'm president, you've got a right to remain silent. >> there is a question on the fight against isis on facebook. >> i go to the university of florida. people say that we're fighting an ideological war with isis. if you're president, how would you defeat them both militarily and ideologically, as well? >> governor huckabee, how would you defeat isis ideologically?
>> the way we defeat them ideologically, we remind people their intent is to kill us and our intent is to use every means possible to get to them before they get to us. we are pretending this is a war that is not that significant. we have a president called it the jv team, said we contained it. nine hours after that there was a mass being aer in paris. we've got to make it so untenable for somebody to join isis rather than teenagers around the world want be to be part of this we need to go after it with significant ground troops, air campaign. we had 9,000 flown sorties, air missions, we were flying 3,000 air missions per day during desert storm. the rules of engagement have got to be lucent. we have to make sure we are not going over setting off
fireworks. we have to kill some terrorists and kill every one of them we can to make it very clear that to take action or threaten action against the united states, and you just signed your death warrant. we're coming to get you and you won't be coming to our shores. you're going to be going to your final. that's what we need to do to defeat it ideologically. >> senator graham, you have an aggressive military plan to defeat isis. the u.s. citizen who killed 14 people in san bernardino was radicalized right here in the united states. as president, how would you defeat isis online? >> what you want to do is you want to knock them offline. how about this idea? if you pledge allegiance to al baghdadi, you can't get married in america? bottom line, you have to go after them everywhere. the key to winning this war is to provide capacity to those in the faith who reject the ideology. the key to fighting this war is fight it in their backyard, not ours. two years ago i came up with a
plan that requires more american boots on the ground in iraq. first thing out movie mouth running for president, if you don't understand we need 10,000 troops in iraq rather than 3,500, you're not ready. what would i do in syria? form a regional army of arabs and turkey. 90% them, 10% us. go on the ground and destroy the caliphate and its roots. kill every one of these bastards we could fine. i would stay and hold the hands of those willing to live in peace with us. build small schoolhouses to give a young woman a voice about her children. something that will end radical islam more than a bomb. i'm all in. whatever it take as long as it takes to the isolationists in our party, you're no better than obama. if you want to fin this war, follow me. i'm seeking victory, folks, not containment. >> senator santorum?
at least one u.s. intelligence report concluded in order to defeat isis and stop its spread worldwide, you have to defeat it on the battlefield. you called for more u.s. troops in iraq, but you say sending u.s. troops into syria would be a mistake. how do you defeat isis with no u.s. ground troops in the country where isis is head quartered? >> there's all sorts of theological reasons why we may not want to go into syria. isis is a caliphate. they established a caliphate, the first sunni caliphate since 1924. they established a caliphate and under islamic law, good muslims who see them as a legitimate caliphate are required to follow them. that's why we have people in this country who see them as a legitimate caliphate, which is the leader of the sunni muslim world. they are required under their law to follow them. how do we defeat their caliphate? it's very clear how you do so.
take their land. you have to take land back from the caliphate and in the islamic world that delegitimizes the caliphate. it makes the caliphate unsuccessful. therefore, you should not follow it. we need to take back the land in iraq and use sunnis, not shiites, not iranian troops, sunni muslims in iraq and the kurds and take back iraqi land. i believe if we did that, you would see isis begin to collapse. then we can look at other ways to deal with it. i have great hesitancy based on isis desire to draw us into syria and a particular town for their own apocalyptic version to go in with ground troops in syria at this point. >> senator graham, you're shaking your head. >> you are not going to win that way, rick. there is nobody left in syria to train. between the russians and assad, they have killed all the people
we trained. our president sat on the sidelines and watched people get killed that we enticed to the fight. there is nobody left to train. i would get the arabs threatened by isil as much as we are along with turkey. we would use their armies, 90% them. some of us have to go, folks. you are not going to keep the war from here if some of us don't go over there. 90% them, 10% us. we go in and destroy the caliphate. there must be american boots on the ground in syria to win. if you don't understand that, you are not ready to be commander in chief. >> i have no problem with boots on the ground in syria in a training capacity. i do not want american troops on the front line in syria because i don't believe that would serve to the interest. understanding what isis is preaching. you have to learn what they're telling their people. they want to draw the united states, they want to draw great satan into syria into a particular town in syria because it's consistent with their
theology. you say this sounds like gobbly gook, it's what they believe. if we don't take it seriously, we'll make mistakes like invading syria with a ground force and bringing them into the battle they deeply desire. >> dead men don't preach anything. if you don't understand we need a ground force to go into syria, you're not ready to destroy isil. rick, there's nobody left to train inside syria. let the arabs fight this fight, pay for this war, but they need our help. the difference between me and you and others is that i see you've got two choices. fight them over there or they're coming here. they're planning another 9/11 as i speak. paris was well planned. they wake up every day in syria trying to find a way to hit us here. if i'm president, we're going in with the arabs in turkey and we'll destroy them before they hit us here.
we're running out of time, folks. >> governor pataki, should the u.s. send ground troops to syria? >> we have to send troops with allies and supporters. wherever it is necessary to destroy the training centers, recruitment centers, planning hubs of the isis. two points though. today saudi arabia announced a coalition of 34 states, mostly arab, but other muslim states to engage actively in a war against radical islam. we have to work with them. let them take the lead but work with them to destroy isis. the second point i want to make, this is on the armed forces network. thank you for doing that. i'm sure watching this debate this evening are some of our soldiers deployed all over the world. as the proud father of a son who was a marine officer in iraq and another son that was a 10th mountain division officer in afghanistan, i know we produce
no finer people than the men and women who put on their uniform to defend our freedom. they are watching overseas now. god bless you. this isn't about us. this is about you. thank you for your service. >> governor huckabee, you have not put a number how many u.s. ground troops would be needed to combat isis. is senator graham's proposal sufficient? >> it may be sufficient, but rather than put a number -- and i'm comfortable we say 10,000, 20,000, i think we make a mistake when we tell the enemy with our limitations are. we make a huge mistake when we say we'll do up to this. we say we'll do whatever it takes. if it's 10,000, 100,000. if it's 3,000 sorties a day, 5,000 sorties a day. we never tell our enemy what our limitations are, what we are willing and unwilling to do. that's one of the mistakes i believe we are making militaryly.
the biggest mistake is letting barack obama cut our forces 25% and leaving us at the least prepared position we've been in since before world war ii. we have to get our military rebuilt from the ground up. all over america i hear young people say, would you tell me what you are going to do? would you give me free college? make sure i can have medical marijuana? you know what we ought to tell young people. we are not going to give you anything. we'll give you the opportunity to go off the butt and serve your country and secure your freedom. if you don't, nobody else is. >> senator graham, i want to remind our viewers, you want 10,000 u.s. ground troops in iraq, 10,000 in syria? >> i don't just make this up, wolf. i talk to people who are combat trained who won in iraq and i trust. here is what i want to tell the arab world and turkey. we are not going to send 100,000
troops. you are going to do the fighting this time and we'll help you. we paid for the last two wars, you pay for this one. they get it because isil wants to cut their heads off, too. the point i'm trying to make is, there needs to be a ground component. we need to be smart. we need to fight the war over there. to the people in my party to believe you can withdraw from the battlefield like senator cruz and paul and we would be safe, you don't understand this war. >> governor huckabee, you have said as president you would tell isis, "we will take you down and we'll try to get it done in ten days." do you really think the u.s. can defeat isis in ten days? >> i'd sure want them to think we would. i'd want to make sure we did everything we could. we can't do it with our current military strength. we have to haven't most robust, well trained, well equipped, well prepared and ample military force in the history of the world. we not fighting a known enemy in
one place. we are fighting people all over the world who can go anywhere. if we tried to win this war on the cheap or we try to do it with the, quote, light footprint, we are making a huge mistake. when all of us were in grade school, one thing we all knew, the bully never picked on the kid except for the weak one. he never picked on the kid he knew could whip him. we need to make sure we have the military isis recognizes and every radical islamist in the world recognizes. they may start the fight, but we, by god, will finish the fight. it will be their rear ends on the ground not ours, when it's all over, whether it takes 10 days, 10 months for 10 eternities, we are going to win this fight. >> senator santorum? >> i'm committed to whatever is necessary, understanding the nature of the enemy. the enemy is a theocracy. their lure is their theocracy. it's their doctrine.
we have to understand that doctrine. that's why i love the fact people are angry and outraged at washington and want someone new and fresh, but we need someone who understands and has knowledge and experience in these areas. i can see senator graham has that experience. we have little difference of opinion, but it's not that big a difference of opinion. we want to defeat isis. we have elements in our party that don't. i will use whatever means necessary within the confines not crossing a trick wire that could turn on us. >> governor pataki, you support ground troops. u.s. army former chief of staff said, "isis is a 10 to 20-year problem." how long would you be willing to commit u.s. forces to fight isis? >> i don't think it's a function of years of going after isis. they're out in the open and in cities like mosul, where we know they have their centers. they have centers we could bomb. what we have to do though is
have a commitment from our government, not just for troops on the ground, but to do whatever we can to help our allies on the ground right now. the kurds are fighting. we don't give them the equipment, training and the support they need because our government insists that all aid go through baghdad. baghdad doesn't want a strong independent kurdish army. there are right now sunni sheikhs and tribes in anbar province taking on isis. they are in the process of reclaiming ramadi this week. they are on our side and they are sunni. we are not arming, supporting, training and helping them as much as we can because all support goes through baghdad. they don't want a strong autonomous sunni area. we have to put our interest first. we have to support those on the ground fighting on our side, give them every bit of help they want. to the extent it's necessary for
us to send in special opes to destroy those training centers, social media centers do that, destroy them, protect our freedom and get out. >> how long would you be willing to commit u.s. troops to fight isis? >> i don't want to see us occupy a country. i've been to iraq a couple of times and afghanistan. the first time i went, i had an uneasy feeling when we went there, we were liberators. as we stayed, we became occup r occupiers. i saw american troops move into some of saddam's old hideous marble palaces. i thought that was exactly the wrong message. we do not have to occupy. we do not have to nation build and create a democracy where one hasn't existed. destroy isis, protect our safety and freedom and then get out. >> senator graham, you called for u.s. ground troops in iraq and syria. >> two years ago. >> as you know, there is a growing isis presence right now in libya. >> yes. >> are you roady to destroy u.s.
troops to libya to defeat isis there? >> we need to have a military strategy regarding libya. they've taken over gadhafi's home town. there's about 2,000 of them. here is what i learned in my 36 visits. you can't deter these guys. they are ready to die. bring on the virgins. dying is first place in their world. we have to work with others over time to destroy the ideology and offer a hopeful life to compete with the glorious death. they don't want to live in the 11th century. yes, you have to destroy the caliphate. the key is not leave. if we had 10,000 troops in iraq, there would be no isil. i hate what obama did he gave away everything we fought for and i hate what he did.
i begged him not to. i've been right more than i've been wrong. >> senator graham, are you readied to commit u.s. ground troops to libya? >> i want to talk to general keen first. i want to find out what do we need militarily to keep them contained and eventually destroy them in libya? they're in nine countries. you want to deal with libya. go to iraq or syria. you want to prevent another 9/11, take the caliphate headquarters away from isil. there is no other way to do it without a ground force going into syria. we have to be part of that ground force or another 9/11 is coming assure as i'm standing here. they're planning it tonight. the isil leadership wants to hurt you and your family. if i'm president, they will not get here because we'll kill them over there. >> gentlemen, stand by. the fight against isis clearly is sparking new tensions with another superpower. how these candidates would handle vladimir putin. that's next.
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venetian las vegas. welcome back. at the u.s. fight against isis in iraq and syria continues, the question remains whether to take out the syrian dictator bashir assad. that's become a major policy difference among the republican candidates. governor huckabee, you said the middle east was more stable when assad was fully in control of syria. the russian president vladimir putin wants to keep him in power. as president of the united states, would you join with putin to do the same thing? >> i want to be real clear. i don't trust putin. i don't trust assad.
i'm not saying i would endorse him for his re-election bid. the man is a tyrant and killed lots of people, but not americans. we have seen a complete destabilization, not only of syria, but seen it in yemen the president pronounced in great shape before it collapsed. destabilization of libya, iraq and afghanistan. it seems wherever we try to pick a side under this administration, we always pick the wrong one. we picked the muslim brotherhood in egypt. all i'm saying, let's be careful to understand who it is that is our direct and immediate threat. i do think we can hug putin and have a wonderful relationship with the russians and go off into the sunset like the end of "casablanca?" no, i don't. we ought to be challenging not only russia but the iranians and saudis on the point of energy. we ought to be drilling every bit of oil, getting all the coal out we need to be going after our natural gas and biofuels and
become the energy exporter to the world and take the weaponry out of the hands of the russ russians, iranians and saudis and let america become the number one oil exporter in the world and destabilizes our enemies overseas. >> senator graham. >> it is absolutely imperative that bashir assad go. the biggest mistake obama made was drawing a red line. assad crossed it, he's still standing. if i'm president, assad will not stand. he's murdered 240,000 of his own people. they're not going to accept him as their leader. the war never ends if he stays in power. you're giving damascus to the iranians. he's a puppet of the ayatollah, a proxy of iran. he's the biggest benefactor of
hezbollah. weapons flow from damascus to lebanon will continue to flow. he must go. if i'm president, he will go. the syrians will pick their leader, not the ayatollah. >> only thing i disagree with, i still believe if you take away their ability to fund their weaponry and fund their terrorism, they don't have terrorism. i still say we need to take an offensive owe proech using our energy, the one weapon we have, we have hundreds of years of energy under our feet the president thinks the climate change is the number one enemy. i think people bombing us is a bigger enemy than the temperature change over several hundred years. let's get our energy. let's use that as an offensive weapon to change the dynamics of the entire globe, and especially change the dynamics of the middle east. >> i'll get to the others in a moment. >> i agree with that. i would like to stop sending $350 billion overseas to buy oil from people who hate our guts,
wouldn't you? wouldn't you like to export natural gas to cut putin's legs from under him? i'm not afraid of a guy riding around in a horse without a shirt. the surge worked. george w. bush made mistakes, but he did adjust. i blame president obama for isil. i miss bush. i wish he were president now. we wouldn't be in this mess. i'm tired of dictators walking all over us. siding with the iranians and russians. >> lindsey's looking back and defending president bush, but i want to look forward. this is about the next president of the united states. you mentioned libya and you mentioned russia. what they have in common, the disaster they have in common is hillary clinton's time as secretary of state. >> yeah. >> do you remember in libya where it was hillary clinton who went and tried to convince and
ultimately did convince obama that the united states had to go in for humanitarian reasons to protect people from the dictator at the time, gadhafi? what has happened we led from behind we have chaos. isis controlling a major city. hundreds of thousands of refugees. that's hillary's policy in libya. and putin. the reset button. remember who that was? that was secretary of state hillary clinton pressing the reset button. we can be friends with russia. russia is not our friends. >> thank you, governor. >> they are friends with hezbollah. we've got to stand up with them and hold hillary accountable for her failed time as secretary of state. >> senator santorum, you suggested there's no good options for the united states in syria. as commander in chief, would you be willing to let russia take the lead in the fight against isis there? >> i don't want russia taking the lead anywhere, particularly
working with assad. what that shows, and i think lindsey is correct, we abandoned that region which we don't want to do. number two, the relationship between iran and damascus is one of the reasons that isis has the power they have. the fact that we have a nuclear treaty with the shiites in iran, that we have partnered with the russians and appearing to allow assad to stay, which is a satellite interrelated to the shiites, this looks to isis and what they're selling is that we are now lining up with the shiite world against the sunni world. the shiite world's 15% of the muslim world. sunni world is 85%. we are picking the wrong horse here. not only is the iranian deal the greatest betrayal in the history of our country signing that deal, secondly we lined up to empower isis by partnering with the shiites. the answer is this. the answer is we have to take
them none iraq, defeat them in iraq. delegitimize their caliphate. join with legitimate rebel forces which exist in syria and begin to arm them and train them. it's a one-two step. first step has to be iraq. >> we have a video question from facebook. >> i was wondering with u.s.-degs natd state sponsors of terrorism such as iran and other u.s. enemies fighting isil, should the united states ally with these groups or continue with their own separate coalition? >> which groups? i didn't catch that. >> he says he was wondering with u.s.-designated state sponsors of terrorism like iran and other traditional u.s. enemies fighting isil, should the united states ally with these specific groups? >> not at all. iran is our enemy. they are the number one sponsor of state terror. the iranian deal is a disaster. i don't think the next president
has to aggregate it. they tested long-range ballistic missiles. they have broken the agreement. it is void. they can never have a nuclear weapon and should not get relief. with respect to hezbollah, of course we should not work with them. i tell you who we should work with in syria. there are two groups. the pyd, the kurds in syria who led the defense of kobani, anti-isis and anti-assad. three years ago, turkey called for a no-fly zone. obama said no. we need to work with the turks, create that no-fly zone so they can have a safe haven. they can organize there and let them fight the fight. >> hugh and dana have questions.
>> governor huckabee, ten minutes ago you blasted president obama for destabilizing iraq. you hit former secretary of state clinton for supporting the muslim brotherhood in egypt. you have said recently you would sanction countries that don't join the fight aggressively against isis. having had an administration that has effectively undermined our friends and emboldened our foes, why sanction those not yet on our side against isis? >> we created an impossible atmosphere this administration put more pressure on israel to stop building bedrooms in judea than they put on iranians to stop building a nuclear bomb. we need to recognize who our friends are, who our enemies are. >> which country? which countries are those you would sanction? >> first of all, the iranians. i would have never entered into this deal. i don't know why the senators gave it so it was easier for
obama to have the agreement. >> are you going to sanction any allies who say this isn't our fight, are you going to leave our allies alone? indonesia, malaysia? >> i would make sure there was economic pressure put on them. why not? why should we fund every single battle against radical islam? why stand back and watch israel get targeted, the united states get targeted and watch with people with their hands in their pocket, their hands in our pocket because we are giving them a lot of money. your hands can be in your pocket, but your hands aren't going to be in our pocket. we are not going to give you another dime unless you engage the battle with us. we are not sending our sons and daughters to war to fight for your interest. you get in with us or be on your own. >> senator graham, i named two islamic countries that are allies. that he suggested we sanction. is that the appropriate approach
to this war? >> no. what i would do is i would try to make friends throughout the world to destroy a common threat to the world. these people are religious nazis. most people in islam don't buy what they're selling. i've told you a thousand times that i would partner with the arabs in turkey. the reason they don't partner with obama, they just don't trust him. do you think they would trust me? i know them all. i've been working for a decade to figure out how to win this war. to my good friend ted cruz, please ask him the following question. you say you would keep assad in tournament i will tell you that is the worst possible thing that could come out of an american leader's mouth. it would be disastrous. his favorite movie is apparently "princess bride." ted, getting in bed with iran and russia to save assad is
inconceivable. >> senator santorum, let me ask you. >> princess buttercup would not like this. >> senator santorum, let me ask you the opposite getting into bed, shooting down the prince's plane. senator rand said he would shoot down russian planes. would you shoot down a russian plane bombing american allied fighters in. >> i would establish a no-fly zone. >> they fly into it, do you shoot it down? >> first thing you have to do is establish a no-fly zone. you work through the process making sure you work with people who hopefully have the same objective you do. if they don't, you establish the no-fly zone and take the consequences of whatever who violates that. >> consequences would be war with russia. would you risk that? >> i don't think it's a war with russia any more than turkey went
to war with russia when turkey shot down a plane. these are incidents, not something we are threatening the motherland. this is a tactical decision within an area we have an obligation for the refugees, for providing stability to the rebels and opportunity for the rebels to reconstitute and making sure we stop the flow of refugees into europe and the united states to establish a no-fly zone. russia will comply with it or not. if they don't, it could be contained to that region. >> how about you, governor pataki? >> i would create the no-fly zone. >> i didn't get to say yes. yes. >> i would create the no-fly zone. let me tell you something simply. putin is a bully. the most important and effective thing you can do to a bully is punch him in the face. create the no-fly zone. if russian planes violate that space, either us or the turks should shoot them down to keep our word. i guarantee you putin would back
off. bullies, when you stand up to them, back down. we have had under obama and under hillary as secretary of state, nothing but weakness in the face of russia. whether it was in the crimea, whether it was in ukraine or now in the middle east. you would give the ukrainians lethal weapons to defend themselves. if russian planes flew into violation of what we declared, yes. >> senator graham -- >> this is an important discussion. the american president is the strongest voice in the world until obama came along. now we're just one of many. when you ask people to help you, when you entice syrians to join your cause to take down the dictator they hate to destroy isil which will attack our homeland and you sit on the sidelines and watch the russian president kill them, it makes it
harder for us to get partners in the future. we've got to mean what we say. i am begging people to wake up to syria. the next 9/11 is coming from syria. >> senator graham. >> it's coming soon. we better do something about it. i have a plan. >> senator graham, we heard here tonight a lot about the fact that you want to send u.s. troops, ground troops into iraq and syria to defeat isis. would you consider re-instating the draft in order to complete that mission? >> i don't think it's necessary. if you don't want to be there, i don't want you there. i just retired after 33 years in the air force, 140 days on the ground as an air force reservist. to those watching, thank you for your service. i've had a small walk in your shoes. we have the best military in the world. obama has put it in a box. let's take it out of the box and use it before we get attacked here. we don't need a draft. we need a commander in chief who
knows what the hell they're doing. >> governor huckabee. >> and i am that guy. >> governor huckabee, would you reinstate the draft? >> i wouldn't reinstate a draft, but i think it's noteworthy that we are fighting all the battles we have with less than 1% of the american population. if the lowest level of percentage of population participating in the military than ever. they are overdeployed, overused among our reserves and guard troops. >> what would you do about it? >> if you want a college education. let irene state the full-blown g.i. bill. you give something to your country, your country gives something back to you. we need to ask young people to step up and buy their own freedom. there's not going to be enough people left at less than 1%. as the former dean of the war college often said, we are fighting all the wars with other people's kids. that's one of the things making us much less safe is because we
don't have enough americans truly invested in the process of defeating our enemies. therefore, i do think without a draft, we do need to ask people to recognize we are at war. >> this is important. we are not fighting all the wars with our kids. if you've been to iraq and afghanistan, if you made any friends, you lost a bunch. thousands died. >> thank you, senator graham. >> don't belittle their sacrifice. >> i'm not belittling their sacrifice, lindsey. i'm making note on the part of the americans, we sent national guard troops over for an 18-month deployment. they come back for five, go back for another 18. we are wearing these guys out. they agree to be citizen soldiers. we have not kept up the pace by recruiting enough people in the military to fully fill these force. that's what we need to be doing. >> senator graham, quick
response? >> times in the army were a bigger problem than dafr. get the army to 500,000, not 425,000. you want to win this war, grow the navy to 350 ships, not 275. sequestration is latin for doing dumb things. we'll have the smallest army since 1940. i was yelling and screaming, don't do sequestration. i was right. if i'm president of the united states, commander in chief, we're going to rebuild our military without a draft and we're going to go on the offense and they're ready to go. >> thank you, senator. >> they just need to be lit. >> senator santorum, earlier this month the pentagon opened all u.s. military combat positions to women. you previously opposed allowing women in combat roles. as president, would you change the pentagon's new policy? >> i would use the studies that were done that were ignored by this military, that there were certain positions that frankly were not suitable. they pushed a political agenda
above what is in the best interest of the safety, security and effectiveness of our fighting units. so i would go back to using what we should be doing, which is putting forth people on those front line positions who are best prepared to do the job, survive the job and come back home safely. >> so just to be clear, you're saying yes, would you change the policy back. >> change the policy to reflect what is in the best interest of the people we are asking. i've got a son going in the air force right now. as a father, i want to make sure if he's out there on a front line and may be a pilot flying an airplane, i want to make sure the person who is responsible for his wing has the ability to do the job they're doing. if they don't have that ability to do the job, if we are doing a social promotion as opposed to what's best for the efficacy of our fighting force, you'll change that policy. >> governor pataki. as you mentioned earlier, you
have two sons who served in iraq and afghanistan. would you maintain this new policy as president or do you agree with senator santorum? >> i completely disagree with rick. this is america. we made enormous progress. i don't care if you're a man or a woman, i care if you're good and capable of doing the job. if you can do the job, don't lower standards, don't lower the criteria. if a woman is capable of doing these jobs, there is no reason why we should deny a patriot who wants to serve and help defend our country that right. >> what you said is you agree with me. because that's exactly what i said. i said if you can't do the job, you shouldn't be able to have the position. >> you said you would reverse the policy which excluded women from those jobs, whether or not they were able to do that. >> no. that is wrong. i did not say that, george. you may have heard that, but i didn't say that. what i said was if they can, in
fact, do the job that any other person can do, i would allow them to do so. if not, i would reverse the policy. what happened here is there were many studies done, particularly in the marine corps, which begged this president not to move forward with this because people are going to get killed as a result of it. the president went forward anyway. that is not looking out after the best interest of anybody, including women in that front line position. >> governor pataki, do you have a final response? >> yeah. i think what rick said is very different from what he said initially that he would reverse the policy that gave women not the right, but opportunity to serve in combat. they can only do it if they're fit and capable and meet the same standards as men. to reverse that policy and deny a woman prepared to risk her life to defend our freedom and capable of doing everything a man can do is not the right thing for america in the 21st century. you see in iraq the kurds, many of their top fighters are women. this is the 21st century.
we are not radical islam. we want to give women the opportunity to do whatever they are capable of achieving in this country. >> governor pataki, let me stick with you. u.s. army sergeant bowe bergdahl now facing a court-martial after leaving his base in afghanistan, getting captured by the taliban. donald trump called for his execution. the former house speaker john boehner says he's innocent until proven guilty. where do you stand? >> of course he's innocent until proven guilty. i happen to believe he's guilty. the military did a very clear and long study as to whether or not he deserted in the face of the enemy. they are are now court-martialing him. i don't think he should be executed. i do think he will have a fair military trial, not a civilian trial, at which time, assuming he's found guilty as i think he would, he would be sentenced appropriately. there is a bigger issue here. this administration has failed to protect us because they have
treated radical islamists as americans who should be tried in civil court. that is ridiculous. they are enemy aliens engaged in terror against america. by the way, the fact that this president is now threatening to close guantanamo bay, when we know time after time, terrorists he released are involved in a high-level capacity helping isis and al qaeda is a disgrace. ask hillary clinton, will she keep guantanamo bay open so americans can be safe and terrorists kept from going back to the battlefield? >> senator graham, where do you stand? >> i stand unique having been a military lawyer for 33 years. i've been a defense attorney, a prosecutor and a military judge. mr. trump, you don't have to speak about everything. that's not required.
i would make sure that everybody had a fair trial. does that make sense to you? we're at war, folks. and this stuff has to stuff. it's bad for morale to deny due process for somebody charged in the military. you are asking to be commander in chief. up your game. if you want to kill terrorists, i'm your guy. >> governor huckabee. isis demanded ransom before killing american hostages james foley and caleb mueller. their families wanted to pay, even though at the time the u.s. government discouraged them. since then u.s. policy has changed. as president, would you support families of the approximately 30 americans being held worldwide if they chose to pay ransom?
>> the horror that those families have to go through, if that were my son, my daughter, i'd give my last drop of blood to get them back. you bet i would. is it a good policy? no. it's a terrible policy because once we do it, we're only going to invite moyer and more hostages, more and more ransoms, and the disaster gets even worse. but i don't blame these families. you know who i blame? i blame a policy in our government that made it so that families are so desperate that they're willing to pay ransom to terrorist organizations because they don't believe our government will fight the fight for them. and they think they're out there on their own. my goodness, people, this is america. when did we have to start telling people that you've got to bake your own bread in order to fight the battles? that's what we have a government for. it's what we pay taxes for. i believe those families ought to have a better expectation of
what this government will do. we should never have sat at the table with the iranians as long as syed is sitting at the table. we won't walk in the room >> that's what we ought to be doing. >> thank you, governor. governor pataki. speaking of the four americans being held in iran right now. iran has suggested they might be willing to have a prisoner swap in exchange for those four americans. would you support that? >> you know, again, it comes down to something as mike said. breaks your heart. we clearly want to get them back. but the idea that by taking a journalist, for example, and holding him hostage in iran. they're going to be able to get some of their terrorist leaders back is simply bad policy. israel has shown the wayen this and rejecting hostage exchanges
such as this and then not paying ransom. but, by the way, mike's absolutely right. we have to do more to protect our people overseas, but then we also have to do more to help our veterans when they come back here today. we haven't talked about that. but more talking about defeating terrorism. one of the things we have to do is give our veterans the support and help that they require. what has happened at the va is a disgrace. give our veterans a medical card that they can use to get the best quality care anywhere including outside of the va system. >> we have to take a quick break, but, governor, israel hasesh chanhas exchanged a lot of the prisoners it was holding. >> but that was involved in combat. they were involved in a war against each other and exchanged prisoners. we have not been in a war with iran. they have taken civilians as hostages. it's a totally different situation. and we cannot encourage them to
do any more. >> thank you. let's take another quick break. the scramble, the scramble to protect americans after isis attacks from the inside. does the country need to tighten its borders to prevent another san bernardino slaughter? where the candidates stand, that's next. it's hard to believe you can book over
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we need to be ready for my name's scott strenfel and r i'm a meteorologist at pg&e. we make sure that our crews as well as our customers are prepared to how weather may impact their energy. so every single day we're monitoring the weather, and when storm events arise our forecast get crews out ahead of the storm to minimize any outages. during storm season we want our customers to be ready and stay safe. learn how you can be prepared at pge.com/beprepared. together, we're building a better california. welcome back to the republican presidential debate here at the venetian in las vegas. gentlemen, in the wake of the paris terrorist attacks, the obama administration policy of allowing syrian refugees to come into the united states has come under fire.
senator santorum you said accepting syrian refugees is dangerous. it just takes one jihadist to destroy the world. do you think there is any way to properly vet refugees coming into the united states? >> of course there is a proper way to vet refugees coming into the united states. but not from isis-controlled area or syria. how can you do a background check? who are you going to call? call assad and say, tell me about this guy from allepo. there is no possibility in these types of war-torn countries to allow them to come into this country. it's impossible. you have a physical impossibility here. secondly, we shouldn't be taking out of that region and moving them here to the united states. and the reason we shouldn't is very clear. if you talk to the clerical leaders and particularly those who are religious minorities, they don't want their people to be relocated so they'll never come back. let me assure you, if they come to america, they're not going to
come back. not going to come back to those areas. who stays? those who cooperated with isis and maybe a few of the refugees that came back. we need to provide no-fly zones so we don't need refugee camps so people can stay in the area. the last thing we need to do is relocate moderate muslims, relocate minorities and christians out of the region so they're not going to return and reestablish a state that can be won and cooperative for us and safe going forward. >> governor pataki, you have said you wouldn't accept a single syrian refugee. what should become of them? >> i think what i said earlier that i would create a no-fly zone in syria. turkey just agreed to take 3 million more refugees. the eu just came up with a funding program to provide camps for syrian refugees and i would also create that no-fly zone where refugees can be there. i have to say i agree with rick. this president is talking about taking 10,000 people from syria, who we cannot vet.
this administration, allegedly, vetted the woman who carried out the attacks in san bernardino and never found out that she had a false address and was on social media talking about radical jihad. coming from syria, it's impossible to do that check. and we know, by the way, that isis is using this refugee program to send terrorists to the west to engage in attacks. they have said that. that this is an opportunity for them to do that. so, the answer is no. no syrian refugees. whether it's the 10,000 obama wants or the 60,000 that hillary clinton wants. think about it. i was governor on september 11th. those attacks were carried out by only 18 people. we take 60,000 syrian refugees that we can't vet. if one in 1,000, 1 in 1,000 is a terrorist, we would have 60 terrorists living amongst us looking to carry out attacks. we cannot let that happen. >> let's go back to dana bash and hugh hewitt for more
questions. dana? >> the u.s. to travel to the u.s. without obtaining a visa. new legislation in congress says that privilege should not apply to those who have visited isis hot spots in the last five years. you say that legislation doesn't go far enough. why? >> we need to take a real pause and all the people coming here and we don't know who they are or what their affilulatiiations. why should we take the risk? if it's such a good idea to bring people here that we really don't know who they are and obama thinks that we're being unchristian to not do it. i have a suggestion. let's send the first wave of them to martha's vineyard and the upper east side of manhattan and to the south lawn of the white house where we'll set up a camp. let's see how that works out. and if they behave wonderfully, that's fine. i want to say, i don't want
someone lecturing me about what it means to be a christian that i should invite a potential terrorist into my backyard. on one hand the left says separation of church and state. let's not have any discussion of religion and then the left wants to tell me what it means to be a christian. they need to figure out if they know more about being a christian than i do, than tell me that they are no longer going to say separation of church and state. but we have the most fundamental right above everything else is not to protect the reputation of islam. it is to protect americans first and foremost. that is our job. >> senator graham. senator graham. in 2013 you were part of the leadership to push through immigration reform, comprehensive immigration reform in the senate and the united states. it died in the house. many accused you of amnesty and undermined your ability to get your message out on the war. would you sign that bill again today?